Potty training is one of the most important first lessons that you have to teach a new pup. Since they haven't been told otherwise, they wouldn't see anything wrong with messing the floor up or doing their business anywhere they deem fit. However, you do not want a house-turned-pup toilet on your hand. So, here are some 5 steps to potty train your pup:
- Set Up Your Home
The idea behind potty training is teaching your dog that the entire house is their extra-large den simply because they are known for being averse to soiling their own space. For this, you would need to restrict your pup's movement around the house until he is old enough to roam without incident.
You would be needing a dog crate or a baby gate that would restrict your pup to that particular area. The more time they spend there, the less they would feel inclined to mess the place up, hence, potty training would move swiftly.
- Use a Potty Cue
The idea behind a potty cue is so that your pup knows exactly what time it is when you use the word or phrase. It would imply that it's potty time and at a point, you would be able to get your pup to go potty just by saying it.
The phrase can be anything, just one that doesn't come up in regular conversation. The idea is to use the word or phrase just as your dog is starting to do its business in the right spot. 2-3 days after, once you think he's connected the cue to potty, start mentioning it just as he is getting in potty position.
After this, the next step is to give it before he even gets into position. This would register as the word or phrase for 'time to go'.
Pup training consists of a great deal of treating for positive reinforcement. When you give your dog a treat for doing something, it implies that it is a desirable one and he starts to connect the action to the treat.
During potty training, if your dog goes to the potty in the right spot, and gets a treat, but never does during accidents, he would start to note that it is the right thing to do.
Since timing is crucial, you might need to add an approving sound like a click or "yes" at the precise time, and then give the treat later. This way, your pup knows that the treat was for that particular action.
- Create a Schedule
You shouldn't be alarmed by the fact that you might have to take a puppy to potty up to 10-15 times daily. As a rule of thumb, the bladder develops to hold urine longer every month in pups, so, a month-old pup would be able to hold his bladder for an hour while a 5-month old pup would hold his bladder for up to 5 hours.
Therefore, it is essential to create a schedule that your pup would start to associate with potty time. For instance, you can make it: First thing in the morning, right after each meal, when your pup gets up from napping, at regular intervals during the day and evening, and right before you go to sleep.
- Allow for Playtime
After your pup has eliminated in the right spot, you can allow him to play around for some minutes without fear that he would soil the place. After this, you can then have him go back to the restricted area. Playtime should be based on the rate of development of your pup's bladder.